Senior Rotary leaders gathered Tuesday at the White House to honor  for their service projects, attended by members of U.S. President Barack Obama's senior staff.

The Rotary members presented their projects, in the hopes of creating new inroads for government partnerships and support.

"This is recognition of the great work that they do but also serves as a great vehicle to inspire others to do similar kinds of things," said Rotary General Secretary John Hewko. "One of the things we're doing a better job of is sharing our story to the non-Rotary world."

The honorees were selected by Rotary senior leaders and endorsed by the White House from clubs around the U.S. but their projects touch lives across the globe.

, of Anchorage, Alaska, has served numerous times as a Rotary volunteer in Russia, three of them as a preschool teacher for developmentally delayed children in orphanages. During her presentation she lamented hearing about a child sold for a bottle of vodka, and vowed to use her honor as a stepping stone to save more lives.

, a licensed professional counselor from San Antonio, Texas, works on projects in her community and abroad, including the  (Fitness, Literacy, Attendance, and Grades) program, which provides incentives to students to go to school, including bikes, sports equipment, and other items.

 from Baker, Louisiana, coordinates tutoring for at-risk students. With the help of her club, she renovated an uninhabitable school building, and worked with tutors to reach 50 students each day. She's also passionate about workforce development in Baker, where well-paying craftsman jobs often go unfilled.

"We just don't have enough craft workers, people who are certified to do the jobs," she said.

, from San Diego, California, works with , an alternative school designed for homeless children.

"Right now there are over 1.3 million homeless kids on the street in America. That's more than there are Rotarians around the world," said Candland. "Twenty thousand of those kids are in San Diego alone."

"How can a child focus on school if their tummies are growling, their shoes don't fit, and they don't even know where they are going to be sleeping the next day?" she asked. "It takes an entire community to work together to solve this problem."

The other honorees Tuesday were Bernadette Blackstock, Marion Bunch, Carol Butler, Elizabeth Usovicz, Deepa Willingham, and Jane Winning.