No one knows what makes parents give up their child. But not much good can be said about those who threw an infant into a garbage can. Freddy Figgers was one who had to go through this nightmare. He endured trouble and ridicule at school because of it, yet he continued to enjoy life and those who mistook him for their child.
Freddy was dumped next to garbage cans in Florida, USA. This case caused much controversy when he arrived at the orphanage. There was no one who wanted to adopt him. Nathan Figgers, who is 74 years old, made the decision to adopt the boy. The man and his wife had children of their own. For years, they had devoted themselves to adopting abandoned children and those whose parents were in prison. As he grew old he decided he could no longer help any child.
When he heard about Freddy, he changed his mind. When the boy grew up, the neighborhood children somehow found out that he had been thrown into a garbage dump as a child. This made him the object of ridicule and school bullying.
When the taunts became intolerable, Freddy asked his foster parents why he was called «Trash Boy,» and they told him the truth.
«My father told me: «Your birth mother gave you up, and since Betty and I didn’t want to put you in an orphanage, we adopted you. «I felt like crap, but I remember him taking me by the shoulders and saying: «Don’t ever let yourself get upset about it.»
Unfortunately, Figger had to learn to grow up amidst the teasing, rejection, and school bullying. Everyone called him «trash boy,» saying no one liked him because he was dirty. There came a point when words turned to physical abuse, and he could find no better safe haven than his parents.
«I remember the times when I would get off the school bus and kids would grab me and throw me in trash cans and make fun of me.
But that all changed the day Freddie received a $24 computer as a gift from his father. After learning how to use it, he felt happy. He no longer cared about what was going on at school. All he could think about was getting home to the computer.
It was not easy to make it work, because it was in terrible condition and there were not enough parts. The boy searched for them on his own and after 50 attempts managed to put them together and turn them on. At that moment, he realized that this was what he wanted to do all his life.
At the age of 12, he learned how to program and got a small job in his school’s lab as a preschool assistant. With no technical skills, he assembled all the faulty machines and brought them back to life. The mayor at the time met Freddy and admired his talent. She asked his parents if she could invite him to help at City Hall.
It was only three years later, and by the time he was 15, he was already in charge of monitoring water meters in the municipality, having created a special program to do so.
Soon his father developed Alzheimer’s disease and began to forget where he lived. Freddy realized that his father always wore the same shoes when he left the house. So he decided to create his own GPS navigation program at a time when neither Apple nor Google Maps existed, by attaching an antenna to his dad’s shoe and plugging it into his computer. One thing was clear to the young man — if his father hadn’t abandoned him as a child, he would never abandon him either.
Years later, he sold his revolutionary navigator shoe technology and focused on the business, which became a goldmine for him. One day he realized that there was no Internet access in the countryside. Telecommunications companies wouldn’t bid on those places. So Freddy took the $2 million he’d earned from his previous job and started his own company to provide high-speed internet to homes in Florida.
Today, Freddy Figgers has managed to value his company at $62 million, and as a man who is following in his father’s footsteps, he is invested in helping those in need.
The Figgers Foundation provides scholarships to African-American students, as well as disaster relief. It intends to continue to encourage innovation in health care and make technology a real investment in people’s lives