As a former New Yorker who still goes to Manhattan regularly, I can tell you the last thing you'd expect to find in the subway station is low-cost counseling. Especially from a kid who simply wants to help people.
Ciro's would-be clients can find him on Sundays in various Brooklyn-area subway stations. The cost for five minutes of this sixth-grader's time? Just $2.
"I help people with their problems because, a lot of people, sometimes they feel sad or they feel angry for particular reasons. Maybe they're in a relationship or maybe they're not getting along with their family, or maybe they're just growing up and feeling nostalgic," this enterprising young man told the New York Post.
Getting advice from a kid is an interesting concept. Because on the one hand, most children wouldn't have the life experience or maturity needed to understand a variety of adult problems. And yet, sometimes the answers we need are so simple but as grown-ups, we over-complicate things. A child's perspective might actually be quite refreshing in many cases.
I know my own daughters will often say something that pretty much nails what I've been trying to get at in my jumbled-up brain. Like if I'm angry at someone, my 8-year-old will point out why that person was wrong or why it really isn't such a big deal after all. And I can move on.
Ciro's mom, Jasmine Aequitas, says that her son is sensitive and has had a hard time in the past with bullying, but his new gig is helping to build his confidence. "The first day he was out there [on the subway platform, giving counseling], he was very nervous and unsure of himself," she says. "A few Sundays later he's come back saying, 'I've met so many wonderful people. I'm gonna end up having so many friends.'"
So it seems offering advice also acts as therapy for a young boy trying to find his own way in the world. But get this: Ciro doesn't even keep his earnings, which can be up to $50 a day. Instead, as The Huffington Post reports, this selfless child gives the money to kids at his school who don't have enough money to buy lunch. I'd say Ciro, who wants to develop video games when he "grows up," has a lot more figured out in life than plenty of adults.
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.