The VISTA Center is currently working on adding the third children’s book to The Journey Series following the success of The Journey of Dr. John Stewart IV and The Journey of a Stem Cell. Just like the previous two, Journey Through the Human Heart is designed to teach and inspire elementary school-aged children. Journey through the Human Heart is completely focused on the heart – how it works and why it is important to exercise and eat right. The VISTA Center teamed up with the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum in Monroe, Louisiana to create a book to complement the Museum’s new interactive heart exhibit. The museum received a grant from Living Well, a nonprofit organization that serves northeast Louisiana, to design and purchase a traveling inflatable heart exhibit where children can actually go inside and explore the inside of the heart. The book offers children an opportunity to take a piece of the exhibit home. The Director of NELA Children’s Museum, Melissa Saye, reached out to VISTA to create Journey through the Human Heart, ultimately bringing together a diverse team of writers and artists. Melissa Saye, the writer, Frank Del Medico, writer, Cecile Foster, graphic designer, and Kaitlin Maloy, Illustrator, worked hard to relay the information in a way that would be easy for children to read and understand. The collaboration took several months and throughout the process, Melissa and Frank would present essential concepts to be featured and provide language for children to understand, from which Cecile and Kaitlin would then create child-friendly designs. While Kaitlin Maloy was creating these illustrations she stuck to simple and easy-to-understand designs while still being educational. Cecile Foster was brought into the client project as the graphic designer for Journey through the Human Heart. She was responsible for making the layout and flow of information so that the book would be easy for young children to follow. Cecile was honored to help and focus “on creating an interactive experience to teach children more about how their heart works and its main parts.” Kaitlin Maloy graduated from Louisiana Tech in 2018 and became the first student ever to graduate with a pre-medical illustration minor at Tech. She is now a graduate assistant at Tech and is currently assisting the VISTA Center Director, Nick Bustamante, with his digital painting class. Her knowledge of both art and science was critical to illustrating this book to convey scientific information to children “that inspired and captivated them rather than overwhelming them,” says Maloy. Her knowledge of biology also allowed her to create an original image of the heart rather than visualizing other artists’ versions of the heart for inspiration. With this client project, Kaitlin was given the opportunity to share her work with the world outside of a classroom and educate the younger generation and their families about science. Kaitlin as well as many others believe that “the VISTA program has always been great about connecting its students and educators with client-based opportunities.” For more information about the NELA Children’s Museum and inflatable traveling heart exhibit visit https://www.nelcm.org/.