Meet Mikoyan Salganek
My name is Mikoyan Salganek, but my friends call me Mik. I am a Buddy, a Jobs participant, and an Ambassador for Best Buddies in New Mexico.Before Best Buddies, I was lonely and I did not have many friends. My mom had to fight for me. It was not a good feeling, and not something I want other people to experience. It was very difficult to talk to people, and I felt like people only saw that I was different.
Before Best Buddies, I was lonely and I did not have many friends. My mom had to fight for me. It was not a good feeling, and not something I want other people to experience. It was very difficult to talk to people, and I felt like people only saw that I was different. I love Best Buddies. It changed my life a lot.
I have been with Best Buddies since 2010 when I went to Sandia High School. I was part of the school Friendship program. When I graduated in 2015, I was selected to be a part of Project SEARCH at the University of New Mexico Hospital where I learned transferrable employment skills and developed a relationship with the Best Buddies Jobs team. I believe in the mission of Best Buddies and began volunteering my time at the State Office and have been named a local Ambassador.
The Friendship Program gave me friends and people to hang out with. I am someone who likes to be silly, and my friends laugh with me. Best Buddies Jobs helped me learn skills that help me become a better employee, and it has helped me become a more professional person.
As an Ambassador, I get to represent the mission, advocate for Best Buddies in New Mexico, and share the importance of inclusion with our community. This year I spoke about Best Buddies at our Local Leadership Training Day, and I have attended Leadership Conference for three years as both an Ambassador and a Jobs Participant.
Best Buddies is an important program. It brings happiness and friendship to people that need it and gives its members a sense of fulfillment. It is important to keep these programs in New Mexico. I know how it feels to be left out, and I know how it feels to know others have low expectations of you.
People with IDD are capable and kind, and we are deserving of friendship and inclusion. My goal is to help other people get friends by spreading the word about Best Buddies, and by showing people that I am capable of accomplishing anything I put my mind to.