"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." - Freddie Figgers.
We have no control over the hand we are dealt with, but what we make of it is what defines us. When, where and to whom we are born is the hand that we have no control over, but how we turn opportunities into success stories is up to us. Freddie Figgers is one such man who made his own destiny. His birth parents decided to abandon him a few days after he was born and left him near a dumpster in rural Florida, according to Black Enterprise. A random passerby, who is nothing short of an angel, found him and took him to the nearest hospital. With a stroke of luck, he was soon adopted by a lovely family.
Freddie was meant to be great, and that's why he's now the CEO of a very successful company, and that makes him one of the most successful African-American tech entrepreneurs. After being taken to the hospital by the stranger, he had to remain in the hospital for two days where he was treated for minor injuries, before being placed into the foster care system. Foster parents aren't generally the nicest ones and could give the child a hard time, but Freddie was taken in by Nathan and Betty Figgers.
The couple lived near Quincy, Florida, with their daughter and would foster several kids on a regular basis. When they got Freddie, they knew he was different, so they adopted them. However, it was not an easy childhood for Freddie. Growing up, he was often ridiculed for his background, with many children and peers in school calling him "dumpster baby" because he was found near one.
Now at 30, Freddie revealed, "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." Still, he did not falter or let it get to him. Growing up, he realized he had an interest in computers and basic technology. Freddie knew his life was going towards that direction when his dad got him a computer for $25 from a thrift store.
Dumped in dustbin as a baby by his mother, 29-yr-old now owns N22bn tech company— Idris Oluwadare Aliu 🐦 (@ioaliu) December 7, 2019
Everybody in one way or the other fulfills their destiny no matter what challenges fate throws their way. the story Freddie Figgers is one that perfectly fits that... https://t.co/OGv1EH2LDf
Freddie shared, "He thought that a computer might help to keep me out of trouble." And it did. At only nine years old, he was able to disassemble and reassemble a computer all by himself. He even learned how to use some old radio parts to fix the Macintosh computer so it would power up. "I still have it," Freddie said. "It’s what sparked my interest in technology."
When he was 13, the people of Quincy had started hiring him to fix their computers, owing to his exceptional skills. Then, by the age of 15, he launched his very first company out of his parents’ living room. It was called Figgers Computers and specialized in fixing computers as well as helping clients store data on servers that he created. Sure, people would have said it was best if he got himself a degree, but Freddie decided to drop out of college to do what he really wanted to.
Read the story of Freddie Figgers, the owner and CEO of a $62 million corporation, and how his mother left him alone to die in a dumpster when he was a newborn. https://t.co/5E3tZl2FSp by @NancyKFlanders #adoption— Care Net (@inspirelifenow) November 26, 2019
'He stated, "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." In his early 20s, the techie developed a GPS tracking, two-way communication device when his dad developed Alzheimer's. He used it to track Nathan whenever he wandered out and got lost. Explaining the device, he said, "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."
"It was difficult to watch him decline—it’s something you never forget. I’ve always been so grateful to him and my mom. They taught me not to let my circumstances define who I was." Despite it being difficult, he sold his invention at the age of 23 for $2.2million. But he went on to create his own company Figgers Wireless which sells smartphones and data plans and was appraised in 2017 at more than $62 million.
Freddie is mighty proud of his company, but he still wants to combine healthcare and technology. Presently, he sells a wireless blood glucose meter device for patients with diabetes. The device permits users to download and share their glucose levels through Bluetooth technology. He's also working on a project similar to his “smart shoe” technology so as to aid families when they wish to stay in touch with loved ones currently experiencing homelessness.
"That could be me on the streets—I could have been homeless or dead if I hadn’t been found by the dumpster after I was born," he said. "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." If only no one had found Freddie the day he was dumped, probably none of this would have happened, but it's funny how fate works. It will get you to fulfill your purpose, one way or another.