- Freddie Figgers was thrown away into a dumpster hours after being born and was raised in a foster home
- He grew up being referred to as "dumpster baby" by his peers at elementary school
- Figgers went past the torment and built himself into a tech guru who founded a firm that is now valued at over R750 million
When Freddie Figgers was born in 1989, his mother threw him away into a dumpster in Florida.
A Good Samaritan found him and informed the police, after which he was treated and given to foster parents Nathan and Betty Figgers who lived in nearby Quincy.
The Washington Post reports that he was adopted as one of their children, growing up alongside the couple's daughter.
When his peers in elementary school got wind of his upbringing, they nicknamed him “dumpster baby.”
“It's a rural area, so after it happened, everybody heard about it,” revealed the 30-year-old.
As embarrassing as it was, Figgers learnt to live with the nickname, although he reveals he always thought about it.
At the age of nine, his foster father bought him a broken Macintosh computer that cost $25 (KSh 2,600) and allowed him to explore it.
“He thought that a computer might help to keep me out of trouble,” Figgers said.
That secondhand purchase spurred the youngsters interest in technology and set him on a path that has made him who he is now.
He not only taught himself how to dismantle and put the machine back together, but also discovered that he could power it up.
By the time he was 13, Figgers had become so good at computer systems that he was employed as a computer technician by the city of Quincy.
Two years later, the 15-year-old started his first company, Figgers Computers, which dealt with computer repairs and data storage on servers.
With his own cloud database and a base of 150 clients seeking his services, Figgers decided against going to college.
“I wouldn’t recommend my path to everyone, but it worked for me," he reiterated.
His biggest sale came in 2012 when he sold a GPS tracker to a company for an impressive $2.2 million.
Figgers was only 23 years old.
His foster father died two years later after suffering Alzheimer’s disease, but he left him with lots of gratitude.
“I’ve always been so grateful to him and my mom. They taught me not to let my circumstances define who I was,” disclosed Figgers.
Figgers who now lives in Parkland is married to Natalie and is a father of a daughter aged two.
His company, Figgers Wireless, was appraised in 2017 and valued at $62 million (R750m).
He also has a foundation, Figgers Foundation, which runs philanthropic projects from offering relief to victims of natural disasters, giving scholarships to students from humble backgrounds, and helping cash-strapped schools.
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