2014-12-24 / News

A MATTER OF DRIVE

Burke Co. grad sees challenges as road to success
By Leah Smith


Prince and Yolanda Dykes and their 3-year-old son, Wesley, live in Hawaii. Prince and Yolanda Dykes and their 3-year-old son, Wesley, live in Hawaii. It was not easy.

That is what Burke County High School class of 2003 graduate Prince Dykes says of his high school experience.

He was no stranger to putting in extra hours of studying to make the grades that seemed to come easily for other students.

Yet even amid his scholastic struggles, he never stopped working to reach his goals.

For Dykes, it was and has always been a matter of drive and inspiration, both of which he witnessed first-hand from his father and former BCHS teacher, John Dykes Jr.

“My father is by far the most inspirational and influential teacher I’m blessed to have had,” Dykes says. “It’s scary because I see myself slowly turning into him.”

But that is not a bad thing.

Though only 30-years-old, Dykes has achieved much success.


FLASHBACK Prince Dykes, as pictured in the 2003 Burke County High School yearbook. FLASHBACK Prince Dykes, as pictured in the 2003 Burke County High School yearbook. At the urging of his late mother, Princess Dykes, he joined the Navy after graduating high school.

“The recruiters won her over with my ability to earn a free education while serving my country,” he says.

For Dykes, it is the freedom the Navy offered him that convinced him to join.

“I was drawn to the idea of immediate independence from my parents after high school,” he says, “[as well as] traveling and serving my country.”

And travel he did. Over the years, Dykes has lived around the globe.

“I’ve traveled all over the United States, Scotland, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Bahrain, Dubai, Africa, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Kuwait,” Dykes says. “Traveling has expanded my way of thinking by meeting people from different cultures.”

Now a Petty Officer First Class, Dykes has served and still serves his country faithfully as a cryptologic technician.

He lives with his wife and high school sweetheart, Yolanda, and their 3-year-old son in Hawaii where he is stationed until 2017.

Even with a loaded passport and growing family, Dykes still desires to do more.

After earning multiple degrees and certifications ranging from a certificate as a Customer Service Specialist to a Bachelor’s of Science Management and a master’s degree in Business Administration, Dykes is trying his hand at entrepreneurship.

“I came up with the idea to start and build a brand while I serve my country and, once I retire or separate, to employ myself and others,” he says.

This was the genesis of Dykes’ company Royal Financial Investment Group.

The reason for this group, Dykes says, was rooted in a desire to inform others.

“I wanted to share the knowledge I’ve learned and read over the years.”

Dykes applied to have his company’s name, slogan and logo trademarked back in 2013.

“It took over a year but [the patent] was finally approved in the summer of 2014.”

Now Dykes looks back over his short, yet productive life and still sees the thumbprint of his former educators.

“The lessons my sixth and seventh grade Language Arts teacher Mr. Rue Graham taught inside and outside the classroom still inspire me to this day,” he says.

And seeing how Dykes’ career began with drive and inspiration, it will likely continue with drive and inspiration as he considers his life five to 10 years from now.

“I can see myself as an investment advisor for a hedge fund or professional athletes,” he says.

Whether his path to realizing these dreams is clear or filled with obstacles, Dykes is not intimidated. He believes failure is a part of success and wants other people to know that.

“Persistence overcomes resistances and it’s not about how you start but how you finish the race.”

Dykes has proven that success can and does present itself to anyone with the drive to possess it.

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