Collette Divitto has been an avid baker since she was fifteen years old. As the years went by, her passion grew, and she knew she wanted to spend her life as a baker. At the age of 22, she began applying for jobs all over Boston.
Divitto received rejection after rejection. “Many people who interviewed me for jobs said I was really nice but not a good fit for them,” writes Divitto. “It was really hurtful and I felt rejected a lot.”
Divitto started to get a little self-conscious about her down syndrome. Despite all of the rejections, she was not going to let them dissuade her from pursuing her passion. Her mother and her sister helped and the three of them set up a company called Collettey’s.
Soon after he company opened, they received a recurring order from Boston’s Golden Goose Market! Then, with coverage from CBS, ashe had 10,000 orders to fulfill by December of 2016, !
“My biggest success so far is how big my company is growing, which means I can start hiring people with and without disabilities,” Divitto says about her successful business.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with disabilities face double the unemployment rate than those without. Divitto is living proof that disabled people are not only more than capable of working, but they can run a successful business despite the societal stigma that surrounds the disabled!
Rosemary Alfredo, Divitto’s mom, always believed in her daughter’s talents, and that they never saw her as different from anyone else. “I never raised her looking at her as if she had limitations,” she explains further. I just said, ‘We all have them. We all have things we’re good at, and we all have things we’re not good at.’ You can call them disabilities. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. We don’t focus on that.”
The young baker encourages others to follow their goals- “Never give up. Don’t let people make you sad or feel rejected. Stay motivated and follow your dreams.”
If you know someone who might like this, please click “Share!”