When Miguel Pica goes home from campus, he faces a lot of distractions. Cell phones, television, social media and, of course, all the noise and chaos that comes with being a college student. For Miguel though, a lot of the screaming and yelling is not coming from noisy roommates—it’s coming from his newborn son, Lorenzo.

“The service taught me a lot about how to function with very little to no sleep,” says Miguel. “I can take advantage of that precious time when he isn’t crying, even if it’s only for a few minutes.”

Pica is a student veteran, majoring in biology with a minor in public health, a path he is pursuing to connect his interest in medicine with his desire to help people. When his son was born at the end of this summer, Pica, who is also majoring in history in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School, started to focus on what he may want to do in the next chapter of his life.

At the time, Pica was studying at a local community college near the base he was stationed. He attended an event hosted by the Student Veterans of America where he was able to speak to staff from Cornell University about his future to attend veterinary school.

“They told me about a lot of the services they have for veterans here at Syracuse and that it might be a better fit for me over Michigan, especially if I wanted to eventually get into veterinary school at Cornell,” he says.