Tasha SchuhTasha Schuh, of Ellsworth, Wis., will be recognized by Winona State University with the Distinguished Young Alumni award Friday, Oct. 24, as a part of the university’s Homecoming celebration.

Schuh graduated from Winona State in 2003 with a major in communication studies and a minor in music. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in theology from Marantha College in Idaho.

Schuh is a motivational speaker who travels the country to tell her inspiring story. As a junior in high school, Schuh fell 16 feet through a trap door in the stage. The fall broke her neck, crushed her spinal cord and fractured her skull. Doctors told her she would never walk or sing again. But she refused to think negatively, and began sharing her story with organizations, churches and schools.

Her book, “My Last Step Backward,” chronicles her journey from childhood to the horror of a near-fatal accident to the divine calling of a young lady making a difference in the world.

Nominated by Mayo Clinic, Schuh received the 2012 National Rehabilitation Champion Award. She was also named Ms. Wheelchair USA 2012-13. She sits on the board of the Rehab Unit Consumer Advisory Council through Mayo Clinic and mentors people who have recently had a spinal cord injury.