Scholarship Committee

Julissa Muñiz

Founder & Executive Director of the San Ysidro Rising Scholar Award

Michelle Romback

Director of Design & Creation

Michelle Romback is a San Diego-based behavioral therapist who grew up along the San Ysidro/Mexico border. As a child, Michelle would often go to school with her mother– an elementary school teacher in Tijuana, MX– and help her prepare for her students and classes. Those early experiences seeing her mother teach with such love and passion is what first fueled Michelle's love for teaching. Michelle has taught at various preschools all over San Diego County and directed her own preschool program. Michelle began college as a graphic design major, and though she ultimately changed her career path, she still enjoys graphic/web design, interior design, photography, and video editing, and continues to do so as an independent contractor. She is currently a full-time mother of two and a SEAL team seven spouse. In 2021, Michelle joined the San Ysidro Rising Scholar Committee because she stands behind the vision of the scholarship program. Michelle also serves as the Director of Design and Creation for the San Ysidro Rising Scholar Award.

Ilse Cornejo

Ilse Cornejo graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies with an emphasis in Television and Film. Ilse is an internationally recognized producer with a background in media production and nonprofit work. She has dedicated her career to collaborating with artists and independent filmmakers who work at the intersection of the arts and social justice advocacy. As a first-generation college graduate, Ilse joined the Scholarship Committee for the San Ysidro Rising Scholar Award in hopes of providing access, mentorship, and inspiration to the next generation of transfronterizos(as).

Oscar Zavala

Growing up in the Tijuana/San Diego region, Oscar graduated from San Ysidro High in 2009. As a first-generation college student, he attended UC San Diego, where he earned his B.A. in Human Development in 2014. Oscar worked at SDSU as a Program Manager while completing his Masters in Public Administration in 2019. Currently, he is a leader in the Talent Acquisition space, working as a Recruiter at HubSpot, a fast-growing software company in Cambridge, MA. He recruits talent across the US and in Latin-American countries. His goal is to continue growing in the field of People Operations, with an emphasis on attracting and retaining traditionally underrepresented talent in the tech space. He joined the inaugural review committee for the San Ysidro Rising Scholar Award scholarship hoping to give back to students with a similar background as his.

Victor Escoto

Victor Raul Escoto is a multi-disciplinary designer and strategist with 8+ years of experience crafting solutions for problems in the medical health and financial technologies spaces. His degree in journalism from San Diego State University drives his passion for approaching design work with empathy, truth and rigor. That same empathy, and his lived experience as a border kid, called him to join the Scholarship Committee for the San Ysidro Rising Scholar Award. Victor aspires to apply his strategy and design skills to help solve our urgent climate crisis in an intersectionally-conscious way. He currently resides in his hometown of sunny San Diego with his fiancée, their murderous cat Bobbie, and fuzzy tarantula Tangerine.

Sean Cornejo

Sean Cornejo graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in International Business with an emphasis in Latin American Studies and Finance. His degree and professional experiences have led him all over the world, starting with an internship at the American Chamber of Commerce in Guadalajara, Mexico, to working abroad for Supercell, a top global gaming company located in Helsinki, Finland. Within his current role as a Brand Marketer, Sean is focused on deepening and expanding the Clash brand through innovative storytelling and by creating collaborative opportunities with content creators around the world. His passion lies in advocating for minority inclusion within the gaming and overall tech industry. In 2021, Sean joined the Scholarship Committee for the San Ysidro Rising Scholar Award in hopes of establishing an education-focused pipeline program that'll support and inspire future San Ysidro generations.