Collette Divitto has been an avid baker since she was fifteen-years-old. She remembers baking on weekends for friends and family. When her passion grew, she knew she wanted to spend her life as a baker. When she was 22, she quickly began applying for jobs all over Boston.
She just kept getting rejected.
“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 feeling self-conscious about her down syndrome and could not beleive she was facing rejection in so many interviews. Despite these rejections, she decided not to let them stop her from pursuing her passion. With the help of her mother and her sister, the three of them set up a company with her called “Collettey’s”.
Right after the company opened, they received a recurring order from Boston’s Golden Goose Market! That in conjunction with the television coverage she received from CBS, y December of 2016, she had 10,000 orders to fulfill!
“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.
Unfortunately, people with disabilities face many difficulties in finding work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with disabilities face double the unemployment rate of those without. Divitto is proving to the world that she’s much more than capable of working. She can even run a successful business despite the stigma that surrounds her disability!
Divitto’s mom, Rosemary Alfredo, believed in her daughter’s talents. She told her daughter she was not any 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 has words of wisdom for others looking to follow their goals- “Never give up. Don’t let people make you sad or feel rejected. Stay motivated and follow your dreams.”
While the disabled community has problems finding work, one young woman put her talents and determination to work! She has shown the world that nothing can stop her!
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