“A woman can’t raise a strong man,” folks say. They lied.

The men you’ll meet in the montage below completely shatter that ridiculous notion. Not only do single mothers raise extraordinary men (and women, and children of all gender expressions), often while facing insurmountable odds, they do it with an unmatched intensity and determination to ensure their children live out their dreams.

CASSIUS spoke with seven men, all raised by single moms, to uncover touching, laid-bare sentiments about their “Day Ones.” As they cracked jokes and shared intimate stories, it seemed the impact mothers have on these sons’ lives may well be the most defining element in the making of phenomenal men.

To single moms near and far, thank you.

Check out the sweet montage below.