Yet his true worth is caring for others.
At just a couple of days old, Freddie Figgers was put in a dumpster by his mother, a prostitute with a drug addiction. Fortunately, the newborn was found and placed in the loving foster home of Betty and Nathan Figgers. The couple decided to adopt Freddie into their family, welcoming a sibling for their biological daughter.
Despite being in a happy home, the family lived in a rural area, which meant everyone was aware of his tragic beginning and Freddie couldn’t lose the label of “dumpster baby,” as reported by Mary Ashbaucher for Lightworkers. He says he found the circumstances of his abandonment embarrassing as a child.
But thanks to the dedication of his parents, a young Freddie was given the opportunity to discover an interest that would not only keep him out of trouble, but lead him to build a fortune as an adult.
At the age of nine, Freddie’s father Nathan bought him an old Macintosh computer to fiddle with. The young engineer proved his tech skills by taking the computer apart and rebuilding it successively. His ease and understanding of how the Macintosh worked led to greater projects and soon he had the computer up and running.
As a tech savvy teen, Freddie got a job with the local city hall of Quincy fixing their computers. By 15, he was running a repair shop from his parents’ living room. By 17, he had dropped out of school and had an impressive 150 clients who relied on him to create websites and storage for all their files. But it was only after his father developed Alzheimer’s that Freddie’s business took a turn.
Now in his 20s, Freddie was inspired to help his ailing dad, “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,” he shared. So with the same skills he’d honed with his father’s encouragement Freddie developed a tracking device to put in his father’s shoe if ever he got lost.
The ingenious design that came with GPS tracking allowed Freddie to locate his father and communicate with him if ever he got lost. By the time Freddie reached 23, he’d sold the invention for $2.2 million, two years before his father passed away.
In 2017, Freddie’s company, Figgers Wireless, which sells data plans and smartphones, had an estimated worth of $62 million. Freddie wasn’t even 30 years old. But the CEO still had a desire to find ways to help others through technology, stating, “the best thing any human being can do is influence another one.”
He’s gone on to develop a system to help those with diabetes control their insulin through Bluetooth technology, and is working on a way to help family members keep in contact with those living in the streets, as he explains, “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.”
While Freddie knows of his birth mother’s background, he has no desire to reach out to her. “My parents adopted me and gave me love and a future,” he said. “They did their best to make the world a better place, and now that’s all I want to do, too.”
In trying to help others, Freddie is not just using his technological knowledge. The philanthropist is also putting his hand in his pocket to help seniors pay their bills, sponsoring youth programs, saving families from losing their homes through foreclosure, and offering college scholarships.