Collette Divitto has always been an avid baker. Ever since she was fifteen, she remembers baking on weekends and for friends and family. As 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 began hitting rejection after rejection.
Many people who interviewed me for jobs said I was really nice but not a good fit for them,” writes Divitto in an interview with Upworthy. “It was really hurtful and I felt rejected a lot.”
Divitto began to feel self-conscious about her down syndrome and wondered if that was why she was facing rejection 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.
People with disabilities face staggering 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 more than capable of working, and even running, a successful business despite the societal stigma that surrounds her disability!
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.”
The young baker also has words for people 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 there are challenges the disabled community in finding work, one young woman put her talents and determination to work, and her bakery is now booming with business! She has shown the world that nothing can stop her, and that despite what the baking community thought of her in the past, she has become truly unstoppable!
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.