Many of us have had normal trajectories in our lives and lead a fairly typical day-to-day existence. Nothing about Freddie Figgers’ life can be called “normal”: Everything about his story is extraordinary.
Things started out rough for Figgers, who was abandoned near a dumpster when he was a newborn. His mother didn’t want him; she probably had no idea what he would become.
Nathan and Betty Figgers probably had no idea either, but they opened their home to the baby and gave him love, support and a family. And Freddie thrived.
“It’s amazing that you can meet people like that, and till this day, I have never met my biological parents,” Figgers said of his adoptive parents, according to an article on his website. “I have never had the interest.”
A tinkerer by nature, Figgers was entranced by the mechanics of electronic devices, and before his 10th birthday, he had started disassembling and reassembling a 1989 computer his dad had given him.
By 12, Freddie had his first job as a computer technician. Three years later, he started to develop a cloud database in his own backyard and became his own boss.
With a mind as bright as his and a talent equally as obvious, formal education didn’t have much to offer the young man, and he opted to work rather than finish college. He kept developing and inventing, and before the age of 30, he had his own telecommunications company, Figgers Communications.
“He is now the founder and CEO of Figgers Wireless, a black owned telecommunications firm valued at over $62.3 million dollars, that you may have never heard of,” the caption of one of his YouTube videos read.
Figgers is especially interested in the intersection of technology and healthcare. Even when he was very young, he started inventing useful devices to aid his adoptive father, who had Alzheimer’s.
Putting both a two-way communication device and a GPS tracker in a pair of shoes his father wore, Figgers was able to both locate and talk to his dad at any time.
The now-30-year-old’s creativity hasn’t burnt out in the least. He’s building his company by creating devices that will help people with diabetes.
“Diabetes is a major public health problem that is approaching epidemic proportions globally,” Figgers wrote on Facebook in August. “The prevalence of diabetes is rising at an alarming rate. Nationwide, 1 in 12 adults has diabetes, and type 2 diabetes has become a commonplace childhood disease as well.”
“For far too long, large diabetic medical supply corporations has made billions of dollars profiting from this horrible disease by taking advantage of consumers with outrageous cost. We could have easily sold our invention to any Medical supply company, but that would only be adding to the problem.”
“We have a solution that’s all in one and it remotely manages diabetics 24/7. But best of all affordability for all patients. WE PUT PEOPLE OVER PROFIT.”
This young man is also invested in the education of others, and as a back-to-school initiative, he donated 20 computers to Sarasota Military Academy. The Language Arts Department Chair, SMA-MAJ Sylvia Gillotte, saw him as not only a generous donor but an important role model.
“Abandoned in a dumpster as an infant, Freddie was adopted by a loving couple who encouraged and supported his fascination with computers at an early age,” she said, according to Patch. “Early tinkering nurtured a curiosity and love of technology that led to the creation of cloud computing services at age 15, and ultimately, to his development of four patents.”
“He is an incredibly inspiring person for our cadets to have the opportunity to learn from, and we are grateful for this donation to our Academy.”
It will be very interesting to see where diligence, talent and hard work take Figgers next — he’s certainly someone to keep our eyes on.
UPDATE, Nov. 19, 2019: When originally published, this headline said Figgers was found in a dumpster, while the article said he was found near it. Multiple outlets have reported that Figgers was found in a dumpster, while others state he was found by the dumpster. Though there seems to be confusion on which is true, Figgers’ website indicates he was found near a dumpster. We have updated our headline to reflect this.
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