"I remember getting off the school bus sometimes and kids used to just come behind and grab me and throw me in a trash can and laugh at me," recalled Freddie Figgers.
They say, if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything and Freddie Figgers is a living example of this. Born in 1989, Freddie was abandoned next to a dumpster in the rural area of Florida’s panhandle. A stranger, who happened to hear his distressing cries, immediately called the police who then sent the infant to a hospital. He was treated for minor injuries and after two days, placed in a foster home.
When foster parents Nathan and Betty Figgers were informed about the baby boy, they immediately took him in. The Figgers, who already had a daughter, would often take in foster kids but with Freddie, they knew something was special as they adopted him. Despite having a loving family, Freddie had a tough childhood as his classmates in elementary school would often bully him.
After becoming aware that he was found beside the garbage they began calling him "dumpster baby," "Nobody wants you," "Trash can boy," and "You're dirty." According to BBC, he added, "I remember getting off the school bus sometimes and kids used to just come behind and grab me and throw me in a trash can and laugh at me."
The weekend may be over, but we still have some #goodnews for you: Abandoned as a newborn and called “dumpster baby,” he’s now an entrepreneur worth millions. Read his story via @cathyjfree for @washingtonpost: https://t.co/kSpBNJAbP5 pic.twitter.com/YCg4Jjed2R— Apple News (@AppleNews) December 9, 2019
"It's a rural area, so after it happened, everybody heard about it. My parents told me the truth about what happened as I grew older. I thought about it a lot as a kid, and I'd have to say it was embarrassing when I was younger," shared Figgers according to The Washington Post.
Things turned around when his father bought a broken 1989 Macintosh computer at a thrift shop to keep his 9-year-old from getting into trouble. And it worked like a charm. Freddie would spend hours on end taking the system apart and putting it back together. "It’s what sparked my interest in technology," he noted.
By the age of 13, he knew his way around computers and the city of Quincy hired him to repair its computer systems. And by 15 he began his company, Figgers Computers, wherein he would repair systems and help clients store dad on servers created by him. Freddie, a fast learner, quickly figured out how to build his own cloud database and chose to skip college. "I wouldn’t recommend my path to everyone. But it worked for me. When I was 17, I had 150 clients that needed websites and storage for their files. I just kept building from there."
What strikes me about this story it not just what a brilliant man Freddie is, but what a compassionate & loving couple his adoptive parents were. BBC NEWS: ‘Freddie Figgers: The millionaire tech inventor who was 'thrown away' as a baby #Adoption https://t.co/2iLVpWbjyT— Sangita Myska (@SangitaMyska) June 10, 2021
These were just stepping stones to a successful career which came in 2012 when a 23-year-old Freddie sold a GPS tracker program for $2.2 million. "I created a device that I could insert in his shoe that would allow me to track him, plus talk to him through his shoe," he said of the device which he created for his father, who would wander off frequently after developing Alzheimer’s disease.
But he didn't stop there. With the money earned from the deal, Freddie started Figgers Communications and developed 80 custom software programs. Now he has founded Figgers Wireless, a telecommunications company that was appraised in 2017 worth more than $62 million. He is extremely thankful for his parents who "taught me not to let my circumstances define who I was."
"My parents adopted me and gave me love and a future. They did their best to make the world a better place, and now that’s all I want to do, too," said Freddie who has been giving back to his community through his Figgers Foundation. He also married the love of his life and they are happily raising a daughter.
Cover image source: YouTube Screenshot | Fox Soul