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Building a Brighter Future

Troubled children and their families present many of society's most difficult problems. For over 20 years, PayBack, Inc. has been meeting these challenges by helping youth, their families and our community break the cycle of juvenile delinquency.

Melissa A. Jaco,
executive director

PayBack STL is in the process of rebuilding, thanks to the efforts of Melissa A. Jaco, Executive Director. This short video applauds Melissa's volunteer service in the St. Louis region and was shown during the Women of Achievement's Annual Award Luncheon. The 2024 Women of Achievement are a selection of 10 extraordinary volunteers who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the betterment of the metropolitan St. Louis region through voluntary contributions, volunteer leadership and a significant breadth of a volunteer career.

What We Do

PayBack works in partnership with Metropolitan St. Louis Area Family Courts to help children, their families, and our community break the cycle of juvenile delinquency. Our goal is to fund and administer restorative justice programs for youth offenders and victims by raising restitution funds, locating job sites, and restoring the youth's sense of self through personal accountability, community service, and job skills.

How it Works


Youth offenders assigned to a work  site or crew


Youth offenders credited at minimum wage  for community service hours


Money earned  is paid as restitution to their victims

Our Impact

Restoring the health of the community, repairing the harm done, meeting victims’ needs, and emphasizing that the offender can — and must — contribute to those repairs, restores the youth's sense of self through lessons in personal accountability. It restores their sense of pride through work skills, community service and mentoring, it provides nonprofit and public agencies with a resource of volunteer manpower, and it restores the victim’s sense of community and sense of security and control.


worksites in the community
youth volunteering



hours of

"Just the feelings you
get when helping others feelS good. I learned responsibilities."

- Youth Participant
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