The General Federation of Women’s Clubs-Milford Young Women’s Club has awarded the 2014 Dr. Helen Langner Scholarship for $1,000 to Valerie Pozdnyakova, who graduated from Foran High School in June and will attend Quinnipiac University as a biochemistry major, with a minor in nutritional sciences.

Valerie has been a strong advocate of community service, was president of the senior class and was previously the class vice president and treasurer. She also was in the National Honor Society, French Honor Society and student government.

Valerie co-founded the Foran UNICEF Club and was the president for four years. During her time at Foran High School she received many accolades for her dedication and intellect. Most noteworthy are the CAPT Scholar Award, October SCC Scholar Athlete, Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award, Excellence in Composition Award, and Excellence in Film as Literature Award.

The science scholarship fund was established in memory of Dr. Helen Langner, who passed away in 1997 at the age of 105. She was well known as a psychiatrist and environmentalist. The scholarship is awarded to a Milford woman who is going to attend or is already enrolled in college studying in the science or medical field.

Helen Langner was born on May 9,1892 in Meriden. Her family moved to Milford when she was two years old and she lived in Milford most of her 105 years.

After graduating from Milford High School in 1910, Dr. Langner was encouraged by her father to attend Hunter College in New York City, where she graduated in 1914. Since there were no colleges in Connecticut that would admit women at that time it made sense for her to leave her hometown.

She worked as a science teacher in New York City for a few years and then during WWI she worked at St. Luke's and thought she might be interested in a career in nursing. Under her father’s guidance she instead sought a career in medicine.

Only the fourth woman to be admitted to Yale School of Medicine, she graduated in 1922 and became a psychiatrist. She led a distinguished career in organizing child guidance clinics in four locations throughout the United States in 1929. In the 1930s she established a practice in New York City and she commuted by train from Milford to her office. She also worked at Silver Hills in New Cannon.

Dr. Langner retired at the age of 78 but was still a consultant at Milford Hospital.

Not only was Dr. Langner a long-time active member of the Milford Historical Society but she also was very interested in the preservation of open space and conservation in Milford.  She was an environmentalist and worked hard on projects to improve the city's harbor front and to create a nature preserve in the Smith Point marshes. She was also an active member of the Hunter College Alumni Association, the Milford Senior Citizen Center and the city's mental health clinic.

Dr. Langner was to have received an Honorary Degree of Medicine from Yale at the June 1998 graduation, but she died in her home on 1 Shipyard Lane on December 10, 1997.

This scholarship is just one way that Milford remembers Dr. Helen Langner.

For information about donating to the scholarship fund call 203-877-7921 or email: MYWC@optonline.net.