(NewsNation Now) — A 31-year-old woman with Down syndrome from Boston has made it her mission to create employment opportunities for others with disabilities.
When Collette Divitto had trouble finding a job after college, she turned her love of baking into a big business. Only five years later, her cookie company Collettey’s has sold more than 550,00 cookies and made more than $1.2 million in revenue.
After graduating from Clemson University, Divitto had a tough time finding a company that would hire her so she started her own company, launching Collettey’s in 2016 when she was only 26 years old.
Divitto, who has been baking since she was 4, turned her passion for baking into a push for acceptance and equality.
“I’ve always loved baking since I was younger,” Divitto said during an appearance on “Morning in America”.
Collettey’s has 15 employees, many of whom also have disabilities, which Divitto says is intentional.
Knowing firsthand the struggles that people with Down syndrome endure while looking for employment, Divitto decided that her company would be not just a means of earning a living, but it would have a greater mission to create jobs for other people with disabilities.
Divitto does all of the hiring for her company and hires people who face challenges, some similar to her own, and some who have other challenges.
“No matter who you are, you can make a difference in this world,” she said.
She hires people who have disabilities, people who suffer from anxiety, people who are homeless, people who deserve an opportunity, according to Divitto.
“Do not focus on your disability, focus on your ability,” she said.
In addition to running her company, Divitto is a published author of two books — with more on the way, runs a nonprofit, writes a blog, does inspirational speaking around the country and leads Zoom workshops.
Divitto has been featured in the docuseries “Born for Business,” and she has a petition on change.org to help create more jobs for people with disabilities.
Her mission is simple: It’s to create jobs and opportunities for people who are disabled.
According to the company, Divitto’s chocolate chip cinnamon cookie — called “The Amazing Cookie” — remains the most popular of the company’s five flavor options.
You can learn more about Collette Divitto and Collettey’s on her website.