VIDEO – CEO with Down Syndrome Leads Company that Helps People with Disabilities Find Jobs: ‘You Can Make a Great Difference’

Despite many challenges throughout her life, Collette Divitto’s source of constant joy has always been baking.

Divitto has Down syndrome and turned her passion into a career by starting her own cookie company, CBS News reported Friday.

“So actually, I always loved baking, since I was 4 years old. From high school, I had been taking baking classes,” the 31-year-old explained. “It was a hard time for me. I had no friends, I didn’t have a social life. I got bullied, I got picked on. And that’s why I had been taking baking classes.”

She later attended Clemson University in South Carolina, but it was hard for her to find work, so her mother helped her make her own job: becoming CEO of Collettey’s Cookies.

Welcome to Collettey’s cookies! I’m Collette and this is my bakery, aka the place where cookie magic happens.I’ve…

Posted by Collettey's Cookies on Thursday, January 13, 2022

The company in Boston has since brought in over $1 million in revenue in five years. Meanwhile, Divitto has also authored two children’s books, was featured in the docuseries “Born for Business,” and heads up a nonprofit.

She noted her favorite aspect of running her own business was hiring individuals with disabilities.

That’s me and one of my team members posing for a picture with Collettey’s Cookies’ fans. When I started making…

Posted by Collettey's Cookies on Monday, January 10, 2022

Collettey’s Leadership Organization assists those with disabilities in getting ready for a career with workshops and mentoring. Some of the proceeds from the business are put toward the organization.

The young woman also came up with a petition to create more jobs for individuals with disabilities, and hopes to gain attention from Congress.

Now, she hires them to work for her company.

Video footage showed her working alongside employees:

“My whole mission is creating jobs for people with disabilities,” she explained, adding, “For people who do have disabilities…some want to have a job so badly.”

The company has 15 employees and approximately half of them have special needs, according to Divitto.

“No matter who you are, you can make a great difference in this world,” she declared. “Don’t let people bring you down … Do not focus on your disabilities. You only need to focus on your abilities.”

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