Collette Divitto started applying for jobs at local bakeries in Boston when she was 22-years-old but she was met with numerous rejections. The young lady, who has Down Syndrome, suspected that she wasn’t getting jobs because of her disability.
“I always baked after school and on the weekends,” said Collette. “I loved baking for my family for holidays.”
Collette would bring a sample batch of her cookies to interviews.
“Many people who interviewed me for jobs said I was really nice but not a good fit for them,” said Divitto. “It was really hurtful and I felt rejected a lot.
With help from her awesome mom she created her own cookie company called Collettey’s.
Collette’s first order came from Boston’s Golden Goose Market. That single account increased to 100 cookies a week for Golden Goose Market she was soon noticed by CBS News.
She is now processing more than 10,000 orders!
Now the girl who couldn’t get a job is looking to expand operations and hire some employees. She is hoping to find other people with disabilities who she can give a helping hand to with a job.
“My biggest success so far is how big my company is growing, which means I can start hiring people with and without disabilities,” Divitto said.
Currently her mother and sister’s work at the bakery, making sure every order is fulfilled.
“I never raised her looking at her as if she had limitations,” Rosemary Alfredo, Collette’s mother told ABC News. “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.”
Collette Divitto has this bit of advice to anyone looking to get ahead in life.
“Never give up. Don’t let people make you sad or feel rejected. Stay motivated and follow your dreams.”