Distinguished Young Woman
of America for 2022


Keep up with Katelyn on Instagram.






Duke University


Public Policy and Economics

Scottsdale's Katelyn Cai was named Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2022 at the 65th National Finals in Mobile, Ala.

Katelyn is a graduate of BASIS Scottsdale. Her academic honors include being named a 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar, National AP Scholar, Robertson Scholar, Bank of America Student Leader, and one of Arizona’s 18 under 18.

Outside of the classroom, Katelyn is passionate about education and equality. The project she devotes most of her time to is a nonprofit she founded, “Invest in Her.” The idea was sparked from watching her mother fight for her own right to an education, inspiring Katelyn to provide equitable opportunities for women to be successful.

Katelyn enjoys pouring her whole heart into everything she does. Aside from her nonprofit, Katelyn is also extremely passionate about speech and debate. She was ranked Number 2 in the country for extemporaneous speaking.

In the fall, Katelyn will attend Duke University on a full-ride scholarship as a Robertson Scholar. She will be majoring in Public Policy and Economics with goals to attend law school in the future and pursue a career in legislature. After completing high school with a graduating class of only 77 students, Katelyn says she’s excited to meet lots of new people and experience life in a new environment!

Fun Facts

  • Katelyn is a first-generation Chinese-American. Her parents both immigrated from China and now live in Scottsdale, where they have raised Katelyn and her younger brother.
  • At only the age of 18, Katelyn has already worked for every level of government in some way!
  • Katelyn has been dancing since the age of eight.
  • Her guilty pleasure is watching cheesy movies on Netflix, specifically "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" on repeat.
  • She is a dog person - Katelyn's "pandemic puppy" named Stella is trained in two languages!
  • Katelyn's favorite plans are no plans -- She loves getting a call from a friend who's up for a spontaneous activity!
  • When asked who inspires her, she immediately replied "My mom... if I can be half the woman she is when I am older, I will have done a good job."