GALESBURG, Illinois-- Jamie Gladfelter wasn't expecting to hear his name on TV Monday. But that's what happened during Governor J.B. Pritzker's inaugural address on January 14, 2019.
"It's weird to hear your name just kind of pop-up on the screen like that," Gladfelter says. "Then my phone, as you can imagine, started going crazy."
Pritzker was recognizing the Galesburg-native as one of several hard-working entrepreneurs in Illinois.
"We had him here, but to see that translate that something that we said landed on him was really awesome," says Mitch Fischer, an instructor at Main Street Codes.
This past December, Pritzker visited the non-profit where students learn how to code for websites and apps.
"(Pritzker) thought what we were doing was great," Gladfelter says. "He must've liked it causes he mentioned something about it in his speech and he said keep in touch."
Like Pritzker, Gladfelter says he's optimistic Illinois is heading in the right direction.
"I know there are some challenges but I'm optimistic about what J.B. can do," Gladfelter says. "A kid from Galesburg should feel like he has the same chance as the kid in Chicago."
That's what Main Street Codes aims to do.
"We're trying to get people to think about themselves as people who can effect the world around them and not just take what the world gives you," Gladfelter says.
Main Street Codes is hoping to attract tech businesses in the coming years by training skilled workers. Gladfelter and Fischer want to help young people envision themselves coding.
"Recently start thinking about how I can give back to my hometown of Galesburg and thought this is something the area could really use and need," Gladfelter says.