Melissa A. Jaco

Juvenile Justice

Melissa Jaco has lived a life of volunteer service from counseling and supporting AIDS patients in between her assignments as a journalist in places like Haiti and Cuba to acting as a mentor, guide and friend to Afghan refugee families here in St. Louis. Perhaps her most significant contribution was almost single-handedly saving and resurrecting a vital juvenile justice charity that serves crime victims and young offenders across the St. Louis metropolitan area. PayBack is a juvenile justice nonprofit that works with the Family Courts in the St. Louis metro area to break the cycle of crime and jail by ensuring young first-time offenders don’t re-enter the criminal justice system.