Collete Divitto has always had her passion for baking. Since she was 15 years old , she has been baking for her family and friends. She always knew that she wanted to be a baker one day. After turning 22, she immediately started to apply for jobs all over Boston.
At first she was feeling hurt and disappointed because all of her applications were rejected. Most of the people who interviewed her told her that she was really nice , but that she wasn’t the right person for that particular job.
Divitto was becoming aware that her down syndrome was the reason she was rejected in so many interviews. Despite these rejections, she decided not to let them dissuade 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.
Soon after their company was started, they received a recurring order from Boston’s Golden Goose Market! This followed with coverage from CBS and by 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.
It’s difficult to find a job if you are a disabled person. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with disabilities face double the unemployment rate of those without. Divitto is a living proof that she is more than capable of working and running a business despite the general opinion about disabled people.
Divitto’s mom, Rosemary Alfredo, believed in her daughter’s talents, and explains 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.”
Collete has some words of encouragement for young disabled people: “Never give up. Don’t let people make you sad or feel rejected. Stay motivated and follow your dreams.”
This talented young baker was motivated and determined enough , so now her business is thriving. The world has seen her determination and willingness and she has become truly unstoppable despite what the baking community thought of her in the past. Her story should be an example for many other disabled people in the world.