A Student’s Journey from Homelessness and Addiction to College and Advocacy

Frederick Shegog, Founder of The Message LLC and student advisor to RecoveryBuild APG, gave the National Keynote Speech at NAEHCY (National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth). 

Frederick Shegog, better known as Freddy, was always a happy and motivated kid until substance use disorder began to take over his life. Unaddressed mental illness, low self-esteem, and being bullied began to linger in his mind with each toxic substance he abused. It wasn’t long until his struggles with addiction and mental illness took over, and he found himself homeless. Alone and on the streets in Philadelphia, eating discarded food he had found in the dumpster, Freddy realized he had hit his rock bottom.

As a child, he had seen addiction affect his family, but it wasn’t until he found himself in the eye of his storm that he realized he needed help. Because he had seen his mother attain sobriety and even start a career in the field of recovery, he had a good idea of where to turn to for helping himself. He slowly began his journey, which would take him from the streets to a treatment center, then to a half-way house, and eventually on to become a college graduate with honors and his own successful business. Freddy knows that the road to success can be long and hard, but he also knows that success and joy are possible for not only him, but all of those still struggling as well.

Click to listen to Freddy’s powerful keynote speech.


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