Get our newsletters

MBIT student awarded scholarship


Middle Bucks Institute of Technology recognized Tricia Shepard as the recent recipient of the Francis X. Thomas III Memorial Scholarship.

Shepard is in her third year of the Medical and Health and Professions program and is a senior at Central Bucks High School East. In addition to her studies, she also is a junior firefighter in Doylestown, honoring a family tradition going back three generations. Family members also called to serve include her grandfather, Jim, past chief of the company, and father Jim, who is currently one of two battalion chiefs.

Shepard was presented the scholarship at the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce Emergency Services Awards banquet Oct. 27 by Doylestown Fire Company Deputy Chief Ed Loux, who works with the Thomas family to give the $1,000 scholarship to a deserving student in the Central Bucks Fire and EMS community.

The Francis X. Thomas III Memorial Scholarship is named after the late Thomas, who was the owner of Varcoe Thomas Funeral Home, president of the St. Joseph Society at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, member of the Doylestown Rotary, and a member of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to directing the funeral home, Thomas worked as a 911 dispatcher for Bucks County. He also volunteered as an EMT with Warrington and Central Bucks Ambulances, as well as Doylestown Hospice.

Thomas passed suddenly in 2008 at the age of 39. In 2012, his parents decided to establish a scholarship to support the educational goals of a community-minded student with a focus on serving others.

Each recipient of the annual Francis X. Thomas III Memorial Scholarship receives a $1,000 award. The scholarship was created to recognize the exceptional service of youth who are called to serve as emergency services personnel. As this year’s recipient, Shepard was recognized as an upcoming member of the emergency services community.