In 2003, Shawn Rubin and his wife Laura Westberg embarked on an 18-month sabbatical, traveling around the world and volunteering with various NGOs. During their travels they were particularly inspired by the work of two social entrepreneurs.
One of these men was Meshach Bondzie, who runs the Professional Secretarial Academy of Ghana (PROFESA), a non-profit secretarial and job training school in Abeka, Ghana for students who cannot afford to attend the public high school due to rising school fees.
Thousands of miles away, Ravi Kumar is the founder and director of the Association of Relief Volunteers (ARV), providing resources, awareness, and a voice to the Dalit (Untouchable) caste of India. After returning to their home in Providence, Rhode Island, the couple remained dedicated to supporting both organizations. They founded Longitude in 2005 to help leaders like Meshach and Ravi build successful grassroots organizations.